March 31, 2016

Housing Success Story for People with Disabilities

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Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2015 Community Outreach Report.

Born with an intellectual disability, Jimmy Rush lived at home with his loving parents for 22 years. Unfortunately, his behavior changed to the point that he was admitted into the Central Virginia Training Center, an institution for people with profound disabilities. He was unhappy there, and his health deteriorated. This led his mother, other parents and several Lynchburg area groups to organize a housing program for folks like Jimmy. As a result, Rush Lifetime Homes, Inc., (also known as Rush Homes) was born with the mission of providing affordable, accessible housing for people with disabilities.

After buying a house for Jimmy and a roommate in 1998 with the help of a VHDA loan, Rush Homes worked on a series of small projects involving four single-family homes, four duplexes, one fourplex and two two-bedroom apartments.

The next step was to advance into the larger multifamily housing development arena. So in the fall of 2011, Rush Homes opened Victoria Ridge, with 24 newly constructed apartments and a total development cost of $4.45 million. The five funding sources included VHDA Housing Credits and VHDA permanent financing. All of the apartments are fully accessible and energy efficient.

Armstrong Place
Continuing its mission, this spring Rush Homes opened Armstrong Place — an adaptive reuse of the historic Armstrong Elementary School. This unique project also included transforming the school’s auditorium into a neighborhood community center operated by the City of Lynchburg. Total development cost was $6.4 million, with VHDA providing Housing Credits and a permanent loan.

Today, Rush Homes has a VHDA Capacity Building grant and a VHDA predevelopment loan for their next project. Currently, there are 300 people who need affordable and accessible housing on their waiting list.

For more information on creating housing for people with disabilities, please contact:
Director of Community Housing Beth Seward at 804-343-5615 or Elizabeth.Seward@vhda.com.

© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

March 30, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Can Low-Income Housing Be Energy Efficient and Affordable? 

(RECAP: The Virginia Housing Development Authority’s strong incentives for energy efficiency in allocating LIHTCs has resulted in more than 13,500 apartments in Virginia certified under EarthCraft energy standards, where households are welcoming energy savings of $54 per month on average compared with similar homes built without the green standard.)

NHC's Solutions for Housing Communications 2016 Convening 

(This April 28-29 convening will connect affordable housing developers, advocates, funders and government officials for panels, workshops and discussions on challenges and opportunities for gaining community acceptance for affordable housing. Registration is now open for National Housing Conference members and non-members.)
http://www.nhc.org/#!solutions-convenings/hv1dn

Hitting the Restart Button

(RECAP: As the economy improves, a growing number of planning departments and commissions will see renewed interest by developers in acquiring failed or stalled projects. The challenge will be how to help these projects move forward, while complying with municipal zoning ordinances, maintaining consistency with local plans and allowing for citizen input.)
http://plannersweb.com/2014/01/hitting-restart-button/

March 25, 2016

2016 Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging to be Held May 2-3

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Governor McAuliffe has called for the first Virginia Governor’s Conference on Aging since 2003. The day and a half conference will be held May 2-3, 2016 at the Hilton Short Pump in Richmond. The conference will include engaging and interactive plenary sessions, a large variety of breakout sessions, networking opportunities, an exhibit hall and an evening reception.

Matt Paxton of Clutter Cleaner and the TV show Hoarders will be the guest presenter during the lunch banquet on May 2. Paxton is the author of The Secret Lives of Hoarders and has appeared on over 65 episodes of the TV show Hoarders. He’s cleaned thousands of hoarded homes for the last 10 years and will shares his insights and effective techniques to understand, motivate and successfully communicate with hoarders and their family members. Matt uses his unique and vast experiences to create a program that focuses on compassion, understanding and trust to help hoarders nationwide.

The second day is an optional, half-day moderated session that will result in a number of state policy recommendations. Housing Virginia will be leading a session on the challenges and opportunities in meeting the housing needs of Baby Boomers.

Due to the popularity of the event, there is a waitlist to attend. You can add your name to the list here:
http://vgcoa.com/


March 24, 2016

Preserving the Vital Supply of Affordable Housing

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Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2015 Community Outreach Report.

Housing costs in many Northern Virginia localities are expensive. Recognizing the struggle that many families face, Wesley Housing Development Corporation is committed to providing affordable rental housing solutions. As a part of that commitment, Wesley Housing is actively working to maintain and modernize its apartment portfolio while keeping units affordable.

VHDA partnered with Wesley Housing to provide predevelopment loans for Lynhaven Apartments in Alexandria and William Watters Apartments in Arlington, both of which are owned and operated by Wesley subsidiaries. Both properties needed substantial rehabilitation, including exterior work and upgraded kitchens and baths to improve energy efficiency and water conservation.

VHDA provides predevelopment loans to support public and non-profit housing partners looking to develop and maintain affordable housing. These loans can help offset the costly and high-risk stage of putting together a potential affordable housing project.

Wesley Housing was able to bring together the Lynhaven and William Watters projects through the creative packaging of the two properties into one financing project (Lyn-Watters). VHDA issued $7.3 million in short- and long-term tax-exempt bonds, including $2 million in low-interest SPARC funds. Burke & Herbert Bank invested $4.1 million in equity through Hudson Housing Capital, while the City of Alexandria and Arlington County made subordinate loans of $1.5 million and $820,000, respectively. The project is currently under construction with a projected completion date of May 2016.

© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

March 23, 2016

2016 Affordable Housing Awareness Week – Can You Help?

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More than 500 people will volunteer April 24-30 during Affordable Housing Awareness Week
(AHAW) — an event that benefits hundreds of members of the Richmond community. Many local businesses gather a team of employees to work alongside both the non-profits that are building and repairing homes and homeowners in need. VHDA is a Leader Sponsor for this year’s AHAW.

Since the event began, more than 4,000 volunteers have participated at over 350 worksites, improving the quality of life for hundreds of Richmonders. Many more have learned about affordable housing issues within our community and, as a result, have become more active and engaged in making a difference.

This year’s events will include a discussion on Tuesday, April 26, presented by Ashley Hall of the Capital Region Collaborative titled RVA Snapshot: How our Regional Baseline Indicators Link to Housing .

On Thursday, April 28, Homeward has coordinated “Walking in their Shoes,” a homeless simulation that gives community leaders the opportunity to assume the identity of someone who might be experiencing homelessness. The simulation asks them to navigate the many daily challenges faced by our region’s homeless population, including finding food, shelter, transportation and needed resources.

In addition, volunteers can choose to help with activities throughout the week including Paint, Scrape & Finish It, Shed and Deck Construction, ReStore the Store and Landscaping.  

See the list of events and register.
http://affordablehousingrichmond.com/ 


Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

New definition of homelessness raises concern

(RECAP: A final ruling on what defines homelessness by the federal agency that helps people through emergency, transitional and permanent housing is changing the way some agencies can count the homeless.)
http://www.newsleader.com/story/news/local/2016/03/04/new-definition-defines-homelessness-raises-concern/81336844/

Programs of HUD

(RECAP: Programs of HUD describes the major rental, mortgage, grant, other assistance and regulatory programs. It is through these programs that HUD works to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers, meet the need for quality affordable rental homes, use housing as a platform for improving quality of life, and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.)
https://www.huduser.gov/portal/publications/programs-of-hud.html

Playbook Updated for 2015 Q3

(RECAP: Housing Virginia’s Playbook is a comprehensive inventory of affordable housing policies and programs within Virginia. It provides the name and description of the affordable housing policy or program and details about the policy or program, including the local contact.)
http://www.housingvirginia.org/news/playbook-updated-2015-q3/

Tiny Houses for the Masses: 84 Lumber Launches Packages Starting at $7K

(RECAP: 84 Lumber is out to make tiny house living as accessible as possible, whether the customer is serious DIY-er or someone who just wants a fast, easy turnkey micro home. The company, which already offers building packages for barns and garages, spent the last half year developing the line of four tiny house models.)
http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/09/tiny-houses-for-the-masses-84-lumber-launches-packages-starting-at-7k.html

New Website To Serve As ABLE Account Clearinghouse

(RECAP: As states prepare to offer accounts that will allow people with disabilities to save without losing government benefits, a new website is launching to help families navigate the offering. The site from the ABLE National Resource Center is designed to be a one-stop shop for families as well as financial professionals and program administrators, with information about laws, regulations and product offerings in each state.)
https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2016/03/03/new-able-account-clearinghouse/21993/

Opinions on Housing                                                                         

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

Can Coliving Help Solve the Urban Housing Crunch?

(RECAP: It’s been compared to dorms, fraternities and the Real World house, but many investors also believe coliving is part of the future of urban living. Proponents say this fusion of the sharing economy and micro-housing offers a profitable solution to countless modern problems, both in real estate and society.)
http://www.curbed.com/2016/3/8/11178598/cooperative-housing-city-living-coliving


March 22, 2016

Virginia Housing Directory - What is it? Where do I find it?

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Since 1992, VHDA has produced the Virginia Housing Directory as a resource to find organizations engaged in housing activities (i.e. non-profit organizations, federal and state agencies, and county and city resources).  This directory is a cooperative effort of VHDA and the agencies and organizations listed therein. The information captured provides the description, address, phone number, email address and area of services provided. The information is provided by each individual organization, which is solely responsible for their content.

If your organization is already listed, does it need updating? Would you like to be listed? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then please contact us at housingdirectory@vhda.com.

We hope you will use this valuable tool and join us in our goal to help Virginians obtain safe, decent and affordable housing that would otherwise be unaffordable for them.
© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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FHA Releases New Single Family Loan Certifications; Proposes Modified Lender Certifications

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that it has revised the form mortgagees must file when submitting a loan for FHA-insurance and proposed changes to the certification statements lenders and other mortgagees must file when applying to participate in FHA's homeownership programs. FHA said it hopes these actions will increase lender participation in FHA's single-family programs by clarifying FHA mortgagees' underwriting responsibilities and liabilities. To implement the revised certification requirements, FHA has amended the HUD/VA Addendum to the Universal Residential Loan Application (Form 9200-A), the official form mortgagees must file when submitting a mortgage loan for FHA-insurance. These amendments clarify what liability mortgagees might face if the loan is found to contain underwriting or other errors. The new Form 9200-A will become effective on August 1.

Fannie and Freddie Give $186M to Affordable Housing Fund

"The goal is to expand the supply of affordable housing," said Sheila Crowley, head of the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac gave $186 million to the National Housing Trust Fund, their first such contributions to a fund designed to provide construction and rehabilitation of rental housing for low-income families. The fund was created in 2008, but never got off the ground before the two government-sponsored enterprises were seized and placed into conservatorship later that year. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro told lawmakers that some states will start submitting their requests for affordable housing funds in April. "We expect the first allocations of the Housing Trust Fund will be made this summer," Castro told members of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

Bond Buyer: Housing Bond Volume Increased 27% in 2015

Total tax-exempt housing bond issuance increased substantially in 2015, an analysis recently released by The Bond Buyer. The gains in the housing bond market were widespread, with both single-family and multifamily bond volume rising last year. According to the study, which is based on data from Thomson Reuters, 531 housing bond issuances totaling almost $16.7 billion in volume were issued in 2015, a 27 percent increase in volume over 2014. This includes more than $7.9 billion in single-family mortgage revenue bonds and $8.7 billion in multifamily bonds, representing increases of 38 percent and 18 percent, respectively, over 2014.

March 21, 2016

USDA Offers Information Sessions about Single Family Loan Programs

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The USDA's Rural Development offices in Virginia are hosting four information sessions about their guaranteed and direct single family housing loan programs for lenders, realtors, nonprofit partners and interested individuals. The first session will be at VHDA’s Southwest Virginia Housing Center in Wytheville.

Each session features an overview of the programs and their processes, as well as an opportunity to speak directly with USDA Rural Development single family housing specialists.

Space is still available, but please register soon. The first class is Tuesday, March 22.
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0a4fa9a92da6f85-guaranteed


3/22/2016
Tuesday
9:30 a.m.  – 11 a.m. Southwest Virginia Housing Center
105 Main Street, Wytheville, Va., 24382

3/23/2016
Wednesday
10:30 a.m. – Noon Blue Ridge Public Library
310 E. Church St., Martinsville, Va., 24112

4/6/2016
Wednesday
10:30 a.m. – Noon Massanutten Regional Library
174 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, Va., 22801

March 17, 2016

Campaign to Help Consumers Make Wise Housing Choices

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Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2015 Community Outreach Report.

Housing counselors can help people make wise decisions about finances and housing — but many people don’t even know they exist!

In January 2014, VHDA sent a survey to all 32 HUD-approved Housing Counselor agencies in Virginia that receive funding through the HUD grant administered by VHDA. As a result of this survey, we found that Housing Counseling agencies hoped to increase their client base by improving public awareness of their organizations and the programs offered.

Although a full range of marketing is being used by HUD and various other agencies, the individual agencies can’t sustain a long-term marketing effort or expend enough capital to be successful in their communities. Since every counseling agency shares common goals, VHDA was able to aggregate the needs expressed in the survey to facilitate an efficient and more effective result.

As part of a statewide campaign to raise awareness of Housing Counselors, advertising was developed to encourage Virginians to visit vhda.com/HousingCounselors. This new page on our website provides details about the benefits of housing counseling and an easy way for consumers to find a housing counselor in their area using HUD’s search tool. Professional media buying firms prepared the campaign’s media plan. It included newspaper, radio, ads on Realtor.com, Facebook ads and boosted posts, and Google’s PPC and Display network.

With the new Web page receiving over 11,000 unique page views from June 1 to August 31, 2015, it looks like awareness is definitely on the rise.

© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

March 16, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

Address Merger Concerns Before the Merger

(RECAP: The Virginia Housing Coalition and the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness both began in the early 1980’s as grassroots statewide advocacy organizations. A merger plan was refined over the summer of 2015, and with a name change to the Virginia Housing Alliance. The future of affordable housing education and awareness in Virginia looks brighter than ever due to our well planned and timed merger, and the Virginia Housing Alliance is already making waves in our state.)
http://www.rooflines.org/4401/address_merger_concerns_before_the_merger/

The qualified mortgage rule hasn’t chilled lending

(RECAP: The qualified mortgage (QM) rule introduced in January 2014 was designed to prevent borrowers from acquiring unaffordable loans and to protect lenders from potential litigation. Many worry the rule has contributed to the reduction in mortgage credit availability that has hit low-income and minority borrowers hardest. But updated analysis finds the rule has had little impact on the availability of mortgage credit, largely because the market had changed well before the rule took effect.)
http://www.urban.org/urban-wire/qualified-mortgage-rule-hasnt-chilled-lending

Joining hands across sectors: developing community potential together

(RECAP: Within NeighborWorks and among professionals who look to us for training and support, the debate rages about the extent to which we should be defined as “housers.” After all, providing housing that is affordable to those with lower incomes was NeighborWorks’ founding “reason to be,” and is the basis of continued funding by Congress. However, to truly serve people and the places they call their community, housing should be seen as a “portal” through which other opportunities can be created for a more holistic approach to quality of life.)
http://www.neighborworks.org/Blog/It-takes-a-village-to-develop-community-potential

Opinions on Housing                                                                         

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

Calculating the True Cost of Affordable Housing

(RECAP: Transportation costs are not always considered in discussions of affordable housing. As defined by HUD, affordable housing costs less than 30 percent of a household’s income. But when necessary transportation costs — gas, car maintenance, monthly transit passes, etc. — are added into the mix, those percentages go way, way up.)

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/03/calculating-the-true-cost-of-affordable-housing/471141/

March 15, 2016

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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GSE reform is happening: Are people paying attention?
The disagreement on what comes next

Congress recently adopted so-called government-sponsored enterprise “Jump Start” legislation. Since the bill actually restricts actions to facilitate GSE reform, this is somewhat of a misnomer. But the goal is understandable. Congress wants to reserve to itself the right to make the big picture GSE reform decisions, like whether there should be a federal guarantee and whether and in what form Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should survive. But no one should be misled by the lack of comprehensive Congressional action into thinking that GSE reform is on hold. Fundamental reforms already have or are now taking place – reforms that reduce risk, protect taxpayers and build on lessons we learned from the 2008 crisis. The most fundamental reform is loan quality. The GSEs would not have gone into conservatorship if they simply hadn’t made no doc (Alt A) loans and purchased MBS securities.  With QM and strong underwriting standards, Alt A is a thing of the past. And GSEs have not only stopped making portfolio purchases, they are unwinding their existing portfolio holdings.

HUD Proposes Changes to FHA-HFA Multifamily Risk-Sharing Program Regulations

HUD published a proposed rule in the Federal Register amending existing regulations for the Section 542(c) Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Risk-Sharing Program. HUD explains in the proposed rule that the existing regulations were last updated in 2000 and some aspects have since become outdated. The proposed rule, largely informed by dialogue with NCSHA and a working group of HFAs, is intended to better align the regulations with current industry and HUD policies and practices and provide greater flexibility for program participants. The proposed rule seeks to align the Risk-Sharing program with other HUD program requirements, thereby streamlining and facilitating program administration by HFAs and HUD oversight. First, HUD proposes that certain loans made by Level I HFAs (those that assume 50 percent or more of the risk of the loans) do not need to be regularly amortizing, provided that the loans have a minimum term of 17 years and HUD approves the HFA's underwriting standards, loan terms and conditions, and asset management and servicing procedures. In its explanation of the proposed rule, HUD says non-fully amortizing loans are not unusual in multifamily lending and this change would align the Risk-Sharing program with conventional industry practices, particularly for Housing Credit transactions. HUD also proposes to amend the program so that supportive housing developments financed by Level I HFAs would be subject to the same underwriting standard as Section 202 developments for the elderly, thereby allowing the use of contract rents in the loan underwriting process.

HUD Awards $1.6 Billion For Local Homeless Programs

Funding support to thousands of local homeless housing and service programs - Virginia $23,471,202
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Juli├ín Castro awarded $1.6 billion in grants to provide funding to 6,400 local homeless housing and service programs across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Tier 1 Continuum of Care (CoC) grants announced today support the Obama Administration’s efforts to end homelessness by providing critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.  HUD will award approximately $300 million in “Tier 2 grants” in the spring to support hundreds more local programs.

IRS Issues Housing Credit Utility Allowance Submetering Regulations 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published in the Federal Register combined final regulations amending the Housing Credit utility allowance rules to provide greater clarity for Housing Credit properties that submeter to account for actual tenant energy consumption, and temporary regulations for properties in which an owner acquires energy directly from renewable sources, rather than from a utility company.

March 14, 2016

Virginia Supportive Housing Opens Mixed-Income Community in Virginia Beach

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Virginia Supportive Housing just opened Crescent Square! This mixed-income community in Virginia Beach includes 42 units for formerly homeless individuals and 38 units for individuals earning 50 percent or less of the area median income. VHDA provided a very low interest rate loan to keep rents affordable, and the development also received an allocation of Housing Tax Credits. We’re pleased to see supportive and affordable housing in Hampton Roads!

Find out about the mission of Virginia Supportive Housing. Read their news release.

Our Multifamily Division specializes in providing just the right type of financing for rental properties and mixed-use developments all over Virginia. Contact our Multifamily Development Staff or get more information about VHDA's multifamily financing programs and the Housing Tax Credit program. Visit www.vhda.com/BusinessPartners/MFDevelopers.

March 10, 2016

New Webinar Series: Using Housing Virginia’s Online Tools

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Housing Virginia is holding a series of webinars focused on how to best utilize their web tools: Sourcebook, Playbook, the Research Library and the Economic Impact Calculators for New Construction and Acquisition/Rehab. These 30-minute free webinars will acquaint participants with the new website layout and suggest the best ways to get the most out of each tool. If you are interested in learning more, be sure to sign up for one of their March sessions.

For questions about the webinar series, please contact Alise Newman at alise@hdadvisors.net.


Navigating Affordable Housing Data with Sourcebook
3/29 at 8:30 a.m.

Exploring Playbook and the Research Library
3/30 at 8:30 a.m.

Get Acquainted with Housing Data Calculators
3/31 at 8:30 a.m.

March 9, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.

New Capital for Housing Preservation

(RECAP: A new report from the Urban Land Institute Terwilliger Center for Housing sheds light on an encouraging development in affordable and workforce housing: the growth of innovative financing approaches bringing new sources and structures of capital to preserve the affordability of existing subsidized and “naturally occurring” affordable properties. ULI’s report analyzes three principal types of financing approaches: below market debt funds, private equity vehicles and real estate investment trusts.)
https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdredge/pdr-edge-trending-020816.html


Neighborhood Marketing Guide

(RECAP: As part of the Neighborhood Marketing Program, NeighborWorks America has assembled resources and publications that share key concepts, strategies and tools to assist community-based organizations in creating positive neighborhood brands. Learn how to redefine your neighborhood’s image, create community pride, and attract and retain residents, business and residents.)
http://www.neighborworks.org/Community/Revitalization/Stable-Communities/neighborhood-marketing-guide


Study: Affordable Housing Cuts Medicaid Costs

(RECAP: Researchers from the Center for Outcomes Research and Education in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, studied residents at 145 housing properties of three different types: family housing, permanent supportive housing and housing for seniors and people with disabilities. Medicaid costs fell 12% after people moved into affordable housing.)
http://www.housingfinance.com/news/study-affordable-housing-cuts-medicaid-costs_o


Opinions on Housing                                                                         

The views and opinions expressed in Opinions on Housing are solely those of the original authors, and do not necessarily represent those of VHDA, our stakeholders or any/all contributors to this blog.

An HFA's Perspective: The QAP Complication

(RECAP: The pressures faced by housing finance agencies in administering the LIHTC forces a delicate balancing act of wants and needs.)
http://www.housingfinance.com/finance/the-hfas-perspective-why-a-qap-gets-complicated_o

March 8, 2016

In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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Ways and Means Chairman Brady Issues Tax Reform Mission Statement for Pro-Growth Policy Agenda 

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), who has been tasked by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) with leading a task force on tax reform, released a mission statement, set of principles, policy reforms, and desired outcomes for the task force. The tax reform task force is one of six task forces Ryan has established and charged with developing a Republican pro-growth agenda to be presented to the country in the months ahead. The task forces are designed to allow for a bottom-up approach that allows other Republican House members to provide input into the development of the agenda through a series of idea forums.

Representatives Hultgren and Ruppersberger Launch Municipal Finance Caucus 

Representatives Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) announced the establishment of a new, bipartisan caucus, which will serve as an advocacy and discussion forum for House members who are supporters of municipal bonds. The Municipal Finance Caucus will focus on protecting the tax-exempt status of municipal debt, understanding how financial regulations treat such debt, and ensuring there is a robust market for municipal securities.

ACTION Campaign Circulates Sign-On Letter Urging Congress to Raise the Cap on Housing Credit Authority 

The A Call To Invest in Our Neighborhoods (ACTION) Campaign, which NCSHA co-chairs with Enterprise Community Partners, is circulating a national sign-on letter calling on Congress to address the nation's severe shortage of affordable rental housing by increasing Housing Credit authority by at least 50 percent.  The letter speaks to President Barack Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-WI) shared goals of alleviating poverty and expanding opportunity, and argues that the scarcity of affordable housing is a significant obstacle to our nation's efforts to achieve these objectives. It explains why the Housing Credit program is the best solution for addressing the affordable housing crisis, and outlines how affordable housing promotes financial stability and economic mobility and contributes to local economies through job creation, community revitalization, and the generation of tax revenues.

March 4, 2016

EarthCraft Virginia to Host 7th Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards

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EarthCraft Virginia has a lot to celebrate – and they want you to join them! The 7th Annual Sustainable Leadership Awards will be held March 22 at the Bolling Haxall House in Richmond. The event will honor the 2015 accomplishments of the best building professionals, as well as EarthCraft Virginia’s 10th anniversary. Rumor has it that they’re also announcing something being built in 2016.
As the Title Sponsor, we’re looking forward to the celebration and hope to see you there.

Tickets are available for $45. Please RSVP to EarthCraft VA by March 15.
Register now

Date: Thursday, March 22nd, 2016
Time: 4 – 6:30 PM
Location: The Bolling Haxall House, 211 E Franklin St, Richmond, VA 23219



© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

March 3, 2016

Creating More Integrated Housing Options for People with Disabilities

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Today’s post originally appeared in VHDA’s Fall 2015 Community Outreach Report.

Virginia launched its Housing and Supportive Services (HSS) initiative to kick-start an intensive community engagement effort to further the state’s commitment to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Olmstead decision. The goal is to support communities with the largest number of individuals impacted by the DOJ Settlement Agreement by increasing the integrated housing options available for individuals with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (ID/DD).

VHDA is doing our part by supporting regional planning teams in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads-Peninsula, Hampton Roads-Southside and the Greater Richmond metro area through collaboration with the Virginia Departments of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Aging and Rehabilitation Services, Medical Assistance Services, and Housing and Community Development.

The initiative began in January 2015 with a meeting of stakeholders experienced in housing and supportive services. Each regional team committed to a 100-Day Challenge to run from June 5 to October 20. To date, each team has included local stakeholders and developed concrete goals. Like other such challenges, each team set ambitious goals. These goals focus on identifying those interested in housing, streamlining local processes, acquiring additional housing resources and housing individuals within a limited timeframe.

For detailed information about the HSS initiative, visit vahss.org or contact Diego Liberczuk, Housing and Supportive Services Program Manager, Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources at Diego.Liberczuk@governor.virginia.gov.

To learn more about how VHDA supports the creation of affordable housing for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, contact Director of Community Housing Beth Seward at 804-343-5615 or Elizabeth.Seward@vhda.com.

© 2013 VHDA, All Rights Reserved. Please Review the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

March 2, 2016

Beyond Bricks and Sticks

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A weekly digest of current trends in housing and community development. The discussion examines topics from infrastructure to community fabric.


Reinventing Your Community From the Inside Out – Part II

(RECAP: Look around for your special places, the assets that you can connect to and build on for community vitality and your own unique sense of place. Then evaluate what would help people to use and enjoy them more.)
http://plannersweb.com/2012/10/reinventing-your-community-from-the-inside-out-part-ii/

Aging Research and Resources

(RECAP: HUDUser makes available printed and electronic copies of published HUD research. Aging Research and Resources contains links to HUD-sponsored programs and research efforts focused on supporting aging in place and improving the quality of life for elderly residents.)
https://www.huduser.gov/portal/Aging_RR.html


March 1, 2016

DHCD Offers How-To-Apply Workshops for the Industrial Revitalization Fund

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Redeveloping vacant and deteriorated industrial and commercial properties can be a challenge. The
Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) may be a financial resource. Attend one of the how-to-apply workshops. Learn about the program design, funding availability and application process.

For more information on the program, visit www.dhcd.virginia.gov/irf.
Register for one of the following sessions.

Location Date Time
Newport News Wednesday, March 16 10 a.m.-noon
Marion Thursday, March 24 10 a.m.-noon
Lexington Monday, April 11 1-3 p.m.

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In Case You Missed It: A Look at Recent National Housing Policy News

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CFPB lays out 9-point plan to reshape financial industry

The five-year anniversary of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is coming up this summer – July 21, to be exact – and few can argue the impact the CFPB had on the financial industry in these four-plus years. From the recent implementation of the CFPB’s TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule, to the national mortgage servicing rules, the Ability-to-Repay rule and the Qualified Mortgage rule, just to name a few, the CFPB seismically changed the face of mortgage lending, with rules and enforcement actions as well.  It’s not just mortgage lending that’s changed. The financial industry as a whole has undergone significant changes since the CFPB began operating in 2011. And the CFPB is far from being done with reshaping the financial industry.

Consumer-friendly options open doors for home buyers 

So you say you want to buy a home but you’re locked out of the market because you don’t have enough money for a down payment. Or you don’t have adequate savings to meet lenders’ requirements on financial reserves. Or you have a “thin” credit file that lenders find tough to score and accept. Understood. But have you checked out what’s been going on in the mortgage market lately? Are you aware of the multiple low-down-payment, consumer-friendly new options that have been launched recently? Here’s a quick overview. Pushed by regulators and consumer groups to expand home loan opportunities for first-time and moderate-income buyers, major mortgage players have come out with nationwide programs designed to turn renters who are creditworthy — but don’t have big down payments or closing-cost cash — into homeowners. Major mortgage players have come out with nationwide programs designed to turn renters who are creditworthy — but don’t have big down payments or closing-cost cash — into homeowners.

Why Blacks and Hispanics Have Such Expensive Mortgages

High-cost lenders are targeting these communities, preventing them from building wealth to pass on to their children. Despite the housing bust and its lasting implications, owning a home nevertheless remains one of the most common ways for American families to build wealth—white families, predominantly. The homeownership rates of black and Hispanic Americans lag dramatically behind that of white Americans. These minority groups are much less likely to purchase a home, and if they do, they are less likely to have homes that appreciate in value. They’re also more likely to lose their homes through foreclosure. These gaps help explain, in part, the staggering disparity in wealth between whites and people of color.